Despite the absence of star guard Fred Vanfleet, the Raptors triumphed 103-88 to bring the series back to Canada for a second time. However, Toronto will face elimination again Thursday night in Game Six of the series.
Toronto is trying to be the first in the history of the NBA. No team has yet progressed to the next round after losing the first three games of the series 4-7.
Pascal Siakam, who had a tough third match with the Raptors, was once again the best of his people, as in the fourth duel. He provided 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
Regularly pitted against Joel Embiid, Precious Achewa made an impressive game for the Torontonians with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby also contributed with 16 points each.
The Sixers, this season’s NBA champions with an average of 30.6 points, went into another game below expectations with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Embiid plays despite a ligament tear in his right thumb.
Former and most valuable 2018 champion James Harden weighed less in the game with 15 points and 7 assists.
Both teams didn’t really start from the outside. The Sixes passed only 27% of their shots (10 for 37) versus 25.8% for the Raptors (8 for 31). But the Torontonians managed to do well in the transition and in the bottle to leave Philadelphia with a second straight victory.
Celtics sweep nets
Unlike the 76ers with the Raptors, the Boston Celtics didn’t allow the nets to find a second wind in their series. They finished the job in four games Monday night, despite Kevin Durant’s final moments.
The Nets winger scored 39 points, in addition to snatching 7 rebounds and providing 9 assists, but it was not enough against the collective strength of the Celtics.
Jason Tatum (29), Jaylen Brown (22) and Marcus Smart (20) scored at least 20 points with the Celtics as they avenged their first-round loss last year against the same networks.
Boston is the first team to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
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